6 Dead After Vietnam War-Era Helicopter Crashes in Mountains of West Virginia

·2 min read

Getty Huey military helicopter

Six people are dead after a helicopter they were aboard crashed in the West Virginia mountains.

Logan County Office of Emergency Management confirmed the tragedy on Wednesday night, revealing that it occurred earlier that evening and attributed the news to the Federal Aviation Administration.

"A Bell UH-1B helicopter crashed near Rt. 17 in Logan County, W.V., around 5 p.m. local time Wednesday. Six people were on board," the FAA tells PEOPLE in a statement.

All six people on board died in the crash, Logan County OEM Deputy Director Sonya Porter confirms to PEOPLE, attributing the information to first responders who arrived on the scene.

"I am aware through Facebook posts that two families from Logan County are reporting that they had family members aboard the helicopter when it crashed," Porter adds.

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Logan Emergency Ambulance Authority Chief of Operations Ray Bryant told WSAZ-TV that the aircraft was a "Huey" military helicopter from the Vietnam War era, and that the victims were not local.

According to Bryant, the helicopter was used for tourism and was based out of the Logan airport, per WSAZ-TV, a CNN affiliate.

While a cause is unknown at this time, one hour before Logan OEM reported the news of the crash, they posted a severe-thunderstorm watch, following up with a warning later in the day.

"At the time the crash occurred, I think the weather was clear," Porter told The New York Times.


Tom Pennington/Getty Huey military helicopter

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An investigation into a cause is ongoing, with the FAA saying efforts are being led by their group and the National Transportation Safety Board.

"The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate. The NTSB will be in charge of the investigation and will provide additional updates," the FAA adds in their statement.

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice tweeted Wednesday night that he was "praying for the families of those killed in this tragic helicopter crash."

Reps for Logan County OEM and the Logan Emergency Ambulance Authority did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's requests for comment.